A couple of weeks ago, I posted my top 10 resolutions for a healthier 2012. Maybe you’re already doing many of the things on the list – in which case your list of resolutions will look a little different from mine. But as you’re thinking about your own health and fitness goals for the upcoming year, I’d like to add a few words of encouragement – with some thoughts on how you can make promises to yourself that you can actually keep.
If you look over my list, you’ll see that it’s really a list of 10 healthy behaviors. I wrote the list this way for a couple of reasons. First, I think too many people make resolutions that focus on the end result (“I’m going to lose 25 pounds this year”) rather than on the behavior changes (“I’m going to eat more fruits and vegetables”) that will help them get to where they want to go. Secondly, the behavior changes I’m suggesting are reasonable – they’re things that most people can do – and they’re changes that, taken together, can lead to a healthier you.
What that means is that while you focus on your goals – whether it’s to generally shape up, get healthier or get more fit - think of your resolutions as the behaviors that you think you can reasonably tackle, and will ultimately lead you where you want to go. In other words, keep your focus on the trip, rather than the destination.
Too often, for example, I see people who are focused solely on getting their weight down. When they’re thinking only about how quickly they can lose the weight and get to their ‘destination’, they might employ strategies they can’t reasonably employ day in and day out – they’re not focused on the trip.
If this sounds familiar to you, I encourage you to measure your progress not by what the scale says, but by the positive and consistent behavior changes you’re making. Because when you begin to weave those behaviors into the fabric of your everyday healthy lifestyle, your weight will take care of itself. Keep your focus on how good you feel every day as a result of the positive changes you’re making – and consider the changes you see in your body and on the scale as an added bonus.
Written by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD. Susan is a paid consultant for Herbalife.